Since the kids were in junior high (old enough to help with the massive work involved with camping) we’ve been going out to Hana during Christmas break. We’d usually set up tents under one of the hala trees on the bluff of the Haleakala National Park in Kipahulu, but sometimes we’d go to Wainapanapa in Hana. After this many years, Christmas has become associated with muddy hiking, soft wet winds, cliff jumping, and fishing the restless sea.
As we all got older, camping became less appealing. Our parental backs complained of the air mattresses, and even with the natural umbrella of the hala tree spiraling wide barbed leaf blades over our heads—the joys of a wet tent are few and far between, not to mention the hassle of packing and unpacking such wetness.
Now we find cabins and condos to stay in—but the tradition remains. Days after Christmas begin with a two hour, questlike drive along the “backside” of the island and then waterfall swimming, hiking, and playing in the ocean take place, interspersed with naps and tasty meals.
Even on Maui, sometimes you just need to get away from it all. How about you? What kinds of traditions make your holidays special?